Until last season, when he decided to relocate to the mainland, assistant coach Alex Delanian was a key cog in Laura Beeman’s Rainbow Wahine basketball operation.
After that, it was difficult to tell how far back their professional relationship went. Preceding and following UH’s 2017-18 games against Delanian’s new team, Big West rival UC Santa Barbara, Beeman conceded little in that department.
In the thick of battles for seeding position, their history — which began at USC and included UH’s NCAA tournament season of 2015-16 — seemed well and truly a thing of the past. That changed Thursday, when Delanian was announced as rejoining the UH staff for 2018-19. He takes the place of Darron Larsen, who was lost to a work visa issue at midseason and had to return to his native New Zealand.
“I’m excited to announce that Alex Delanian will be returning to our ‘ohana,” Beeman said in a UH release. “Hawaii is a special place, and our program is a special program. Finding the perfect fit for players to join our program is huge and finding the right coach for these players is as important. Coach Delanian is that fit. He’s a special coach and understands Hawai’i is about being apart of something bigger than you. Welcome back, Alex.”
He will pick up where he left off working with the Wahine post players and team offensive scheme.
Said Delanian, “I feel incredibly lucky to have this opportunity: to return to the University of Hawaii, to return to the state of Hawaii, and to work once again with Coach Beeman,” said Delanian. “Having experienced the growth of this program under her guidance, the sky is the limit for what we can accomplish in an incredibly special place. I’m beyond excited to get started and join a group of student-athletes, staff, and coaches that have championship aspirations along with the work ethic to match.”
The UH soccer team also recently filled a position that opened up following last season with the departure of two-year assistant Ashley O’Brien Heidelberger, who took a job at Bryant University in Rhode Island.
Rachael Doyle, an Australian who played at Washington State, joins eighth-year coach Michele Nagamine and top assistant Marc Fournier. She spent the last two years on staff at Eastern Kentucky of the Ohio Valley Conference.
As a player, Doyle started at defender against Hawaii in the Rainbow Wahine’s 2-0 loss in Pullman, Wash., in 2012. (She also apparently traveled out to Hawaii with WSU in 2014 for another win, but her playing days were done by that time.)
Now that she’s on the opposite sideline, she’ll be helping UH with defense, as well as strength, conditioning and recovery using her masters in kinesiology.
Nagamine said in a UH statement, “I’m very happy to welcome Rachael to Hawaii. She is a bright young coach who is well-respected for her engaging personality and tremendous work ethic. Her Pac-12 and International playing experience gives her a unique insight into the highest levels of play that will immediately impact our program.”
Doyle said in part, “This team has grit and tenacity that is second to none; I can’t wait to get started.”